El Dorado’s wrestling program hosted a season-opening tri-match Tuesday at the old high school gymnasium. The Wildcats fell to Evangel Prep 60-24 and beat Texarkana 45-18 in boys’ action. The Lady Wildcats topped Texarkana 18-12.
“Overall, I’m proud and happy of the way we came out. We tried to fight and get after it. I saw a lot of good things and things I liked. We had a couple people come up and show some really good stuff and almost surprised us a little bit, which is good. I had a couple pleasant surprises. But we’ve still got some things to work on, for sure,” said El Dorado coach Alex Townsend.
“We still have to learn to be a little more physical. We still have to get into wrestling shape, too, for a lot of our guys and girls. But overall, pretty pleased with how things went. For some, it was definitely a learning experience. We’ve got a lot of new, inexperienced guys and girls out. For probably 40 to 50 percent of the people we had, this might’ve been their first night of matches. We got a lot of new faces and new people out, which is great. For a lot of them, it was a learning experience for never doing it before.”
In boys’ matches, the Wildcats’ Ryan Temple, Chase Schultz, Evan Criss and Winston Williams went 2-0 while Richard Diaz, Jackson Pagan, Grayson Finch and Marcus Waller were 1-1.
For the Lady Wildcats, Maddie Aguiluz went 2-1 with her only loss against a male varsity wrestler from Evangel. Katelyn Hayden and Destinee Smith both went 1-0 against Texarkana.
“Ryan Temple, I believe he went 2-0 and this was his first night of wrestling competitively. That was great to see. I think he earned a spot on the varsity I believe. He had a great night,” said Townsend.
“A girl we’re excited about is Destinee Smith. She’s a 10th grader but this is her first time out. I believe she won her first match with a pin. That was good to see, and I think she even went up a couple weight classes to do it.”
The competition level was pretty high with Evangel’s experienced squad.
“This was not Evangel’s first meet. It was at least their second or third,” said Townsend. “Evangel is a good program. They’ve got a couple kids who are pretty high in Louisiana. They’ve got one kid who got third in the state of Louisiana last year. They’ve got a lot of talent. Texarkana had some good kids, too. This is their first year out, but they had kids who looked pretty polished for being in a program for the first year.”
There was a decent crowd for the event, bringing some energy and enthusiasm.
“I was pleased with the turnout. We had a fairly good crowd,” Townsend said. “There were a couple times when it got kind of loud in there. The crowd was good. It was pleasing to see what kind of support we had tonight.”
El Dorado will travel to Shreveport Saturday to compete in Parkway High School’s Riot on the Red Tournament, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Townsend was pleased with Tuesday’s opener but is already eager to see improvement going into the second meet.
“Just get in better match shape and get to where we string moves and counter moves better together and just polish our technique and polish up our match fitness a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got some things to get better at. I’d like to see us be more physical and try to attack more.”
El Dorado’s next home match will be Jan. 8.